It’s still weird to see Jayson Werth come to the plate at Citizens Bank Park wearing a baggy Nationals Jersey, rather than wearing the red pinstripes. It’s still weird to not hear Lil’ Wayne’s “Right Above It”, playing every time Werth comes to the plate. Many people in the Delaware Valley will always view Jayson Werth as a Phillie, and in an interview with MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, Werth acknowledged that Philly still feels like home to him.
“When I went out to shag flies in right yesterday, it was like going home to your parents’ house after you had gone away to school,” Werth said. “I went and played baseball, but it’s like coming back after that first year and going back to your old bedroom, you know? I remember this room.”
In four seasons in Philly, Werth amassed 95 homeruns, while driving in 300 runs. In short Werth put together four pretty damn good seasons in Philly. And that is leaving out the fact that he went to two World Series, including winning his first and only World Title in 2008. And Werth wasn’t just along for the ride. From 2007-10 Werth hit 13 homeruns in the playoffs, which was good for tenth in MLB playoff history and first in Phillies history. Werth even went as far, according to Zolecki, as telling a reporter that playing in Philly was the highlight of his career thus far.
All of that taken into account and I refuse to boo or hate on Jayson Werth ever. And it sickened me when Werth broke his wrist on Sunday Night Baseball in 2011 and Phillies fans cheered. It sickened me, because it didn’t even make sense. Werth helped to win us two pennants and a World Title, and then when the Phillies offered him about half the deal that that the Nats did, he left. Who would have acted any differently? And regardless of whether you have ill will towards Werth for leaving, how can you boo someone who helped to put another flag above the bullpen?
After vowing in 2011 that he would make sure Phillies fans didn’t get to have another parade down Broad Street, Werth sounds like he has come to the conclusion that he isn’t going to be treated well in Philly for the rest of his career, but he still hopes that someday the glory days are what stands out in the mind of Phils fans.
“I feel like the right-field fans still appreciate me,” Werth said. “They’ll come around. Maybe [in] 10 years they’ll be good to me. It’s all good. I always enjoy coming here, for better or worse. Any time I grab lunch or dinner, people go out of their way to say, ‘Thanks for 2008.’ It’s all good.”